ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Colleagues are mourning after the passing of Dr. Mina Chung, a local ophthalmologist and retina specialist who helped blind children see.
Dr. Chung was an associate professor of ophthalmology at University of Rochester Medical Center Flaum Eye Institute, and a faculty member in the university’s center for visual science.
She died in a skiing accident in Italy last week.
The chair of ophthalmology at URMC, David Diloreto, says support has been coming in from all over the world — not only talking about great work Dr. Chung did, but the dedication she put into her patients.
Diloreto is still coming to terms with the loss of his colleague and friend.
“She worked with me on a lot of firsts in my career. My first cataract, my first injection, my first buckle for retinal surgery. And then we became friends and partners for 20 years after that. It’s a crushing, crushing loss,” said Diloreto.
Diloreto trained under Dr. Chung in California before both ended up at URMC. Dr. Chung was one of the first involved with the Flaum Eye Institute.
“Absolutely no retinal surgery done her. And she started everything from recruiting nursing staff to all the machines, and the flow of patients, and it was big endeavor but she did it. Within a year, we were up and running it was amazing,” said Diloreto.
As pediatric retina specialist and surgeon, Chung provided care for a wide range of retinal disorders from disease to birth defects — something rare in her career field.
“All things that most retinal specialists shy away from or don’t want to do, and she did it with a passion and commitment that really elevated not only upstate New York, but the entire country,” said Diloreto.
And her legacy will live on.
“She was really someone who lived life to the fullest and cared for her patients, in way that no one else can,” said Diloreto.
Dr.Chung has received world wide recognition for her surgeries and research in genetic eye conditions. At the time of the accident, she was in Italy attending an ophthalmic conference.
She is survived by her husband, an associate professor in the URMC. The couple lived in Canandaigua.